Taliban claims responsibility for Afghan soldier killing 3 US soldiers


A spokesman for the provincial governor of Nangarhar, in eastern Afghanistan, confirmed that the incident occurred during an operation in the district of Achin, on the Pakistan border. The shooting took place during a joint U.S.

It said the officers were killed when a U.S. aircraft "returned fire" during the operation, which included Afghan and American special forces.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the deaths in the volatile district of Achin, which is also contested by Islamic State militants, saying it was carried out by an infiltrator. In an emailed statement, the USA military said only: "We are aware of an incident in eastern Afghanistan".

Several members of the Afghan security forces were killed on Friday when a USA military aircraft opened fire during an overnight operation in Helmand province. One U.S. soldier was wounded and has been evacuated for medical treatment. He added that an investigation was already underway.

It also comes as the Taliban ramp up their campaign against the Western-backed government in Afghanistan, and as US President Donald Trump mulls sending more troops into the lengthy conflict.

Vice President Pence addressed the incident during an appearance Saturday.

"Green on blue" violence, or insider attacks by Afghan soldiers on US or other foreign troops, have become rare as coalition forces have mostly withdrawn from Afghanistan. The details of this attack will be forthcoming. When heroes fall, Americans grieve.

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The U.S.is partnered with the Afghan National Security Forces in the fight against ISIS and the Taliban insurgent movement in the rest of the country.

The Pentagon confirmed that three USA troops had died in the attack and one soldier had been wounded. In March, an Afghan soldier wounded three Americans in Helmand province. Although military officials say the group is far smaller than it was at its height in 2015, an estimated 600 to 800 militants, located mainly in remote mountainous areas, continue to pose an ample threat to US and Afghan troops.

The statement claimed the infiltrator managed to kill four U.S. troops before he was killed by Afghan soldiers.

The so-called "friendly fire" incident occurred overnight, during a raid in Afghanistan's restive Helmand province, the USA military command in Kabul said in a statement.

Currently, there are about 8,400 US troops and another 5,000 North Atlantic Treaty Organisation forces in Afghanistan to train and assist Afghan forces against the Taliban and conduct counter-terrorism missions.

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